Pumps for Aquaria

For aquaria pumps are used for very different purposes. Beginning with simple air lifts over air compressors to high-end pumps in industry quality. Each pump has its own advantages and disadvantages - you have to find the righ pump for your application. The below list should help a little bit.

For water flow from filter tank (LSS) to aquarium (overflow system) you must take care, that the pump is not only able to make enough water flow (e.g. litres per hour) but it must create the needed pressure (meter water column). Much much water the pump will make at the forced height you can see in performance diagrams (see scetch). Therefore you must measure the height between water level of the filter tank and the water level in your aquarium. In the diagram go to the needed height (e.g. point "A") and then go horizontal to the right (A-B). At the point of intersection (B) with the chart go vertically down to the X-axis (B-C). The read-out value (C) is the actual water flow. Important: the pipe work must be designed with the right diameter (the pump connectors have nothing to do with the righ diameter!) and it must be done with bends instead of elbow. Never throttle the pump with a ball valve or angle regulating valve at the intake side!

For creating currents the pump should have a high water flow and a low maximum pressure. The old-fashioned submersibel circulation pumps (see type TKP) are replaced by modern axial-flow pumps (propeller pumps) or by closed-loop-systems. As a directional gain the water flow between LSS and aquarium should be about 5times the aquarium volume per hour (turn-over: 0.2 h); for currents inside of the aquarium it should be about 10times.

Picture /
Type Invest-
Energy cost Application Advantages Disadvantages
abee-300.jpg (3157 Byte) Circulation pump with synchronous motor
300 ... 1,000 l/h
0.6  ... 1.3 m
Water flow between LSS and aquarium

Current inside of the aquarium

Submerged operation possible
Gives heat into the water

Not adjustable

abee-2-3.jpg (3895 Byte) Circulation pump with synchronous motor
2,000 ... 3,000 l/h
1.6 ... 2.4 m
Circulation pump with synchronous motor
5,000 ... 7,000 l/h
4.7 ... 5.0 m
md-20rz-n.jpg (6007 Byte) Industrial circulation pump with asynchronous motor: MD-Serie
960 ... 8,100 l/h
1.8 ... 11.7 m

Gives less heat into the water

Adjustable with phase controlled modulator or frequency controller

High investment

Not submersible

Industrial circulation pump with 3-phase motor
16.8 ... 240 m3/h
12.5 ... 74 m
higher flows on request
Energy saving pump with controller:

Submersed operation possible

Gives less heat into the water

Continuous adjustment with its own controller

The investment is normally amotised in a short time

High investment
Energy saving pump with controller:
Blue Eco

23...88 m3/h
7...22 m
TKP submersible circulation pump with asynchronous motor
1,300 ... 3,500 l/h
This pump is not longer available
AquaCare still offers some spare parts (on request)
Tube dosing pump
50 ml/min
Dosing of additives

Supply of calcium reactors and nitrate filters
Lower investment

Very rigid
Lower precision

Tubes are wearing parts

Industry membrane pump High precision

Low wearing

High investment
Diaphragm pumps for reverse osmosis units
Reverse osmosis, fogging
Low investment

Extreme silent

Low voltage

Continuous operation not possible

Low performance

Roto vane pumps for reverse osmosis units or fogging systems
High performance

Continuous operation possible

High investment

Not silent

Membrane pumps with low performance
Air supply

Water supply with air lift

Water supply with penumatic pumps (plankton protecting)

Low investment

Low flow
Membrane / plunger pumps with medium flows

Higher flow

Higher investment
on request
Side channel blowers with high flows
Very high flow
Very noisy

Low pressure